One of the biggest hurdles so many people, including myself, face as business owners is dealing with perfectionism. For whatever reason, we have this innate desire to have everything just right. To a degree, wanting things to be right can be a good thing. The problem arises when perfectionism impedes progress.
Perfectionism is like a demon lurking on our shoulders with whispers of negativity, and its ONLY GOAL is to keep you from YOUR GOALS.
As I sit here writing this, I found myself pausing and wondering if there was a better article I could write. I also thought, how I could make this post “perfect enough” for the person that needs to hear this. And then the negativity of realizing that there are so many articles out there on perfectionism, that I didn’t feel like I could make this one good enough.
This is how progress is impeded by focusing on being perfect.
Perhaps you can relate/see my point. That perfectionism demon is cunning and ruthless.
Seeking perfection will stall any chances you have of success and wreak havoc on your solo entrepreneurial endeavors.
Let me say that again for the people in the back: Seeking perfection is a great way to ruin your business, or not even get it off the ground.
So if you find yourself constantly aiming for and stalled by perfection, here are some tips that you can use to get you past it.
Make Sure Your Goals Are Attainable
Instead of aiming for the impossible, set your target on a more attainable goal. That may seem easier said than done. However, if progress in your new business is important enough, you’ll at least give it some thought and hopefully make some changes to stop hindering your progress and ensure more attainable goals.
Check Your Attitude
Not sure if perfection is the cause for stalling progress? Take a look at some of the most common and prevalent characteristics and see if anything applies to your mindset.
Be honest with yourself and really dig deep.
Sometimes we fool ourselves into thinking perfection is a good thing, so it’s a little more difficult to identify with it as a problem.
Ask yourself these questions:
- Is it “all or nothing” with your approach? Do you dive in head first and give a task everything you’ve got? Does it become a task you can’t complete due to all the improvements you need to still make?
- Are these standards unrealistic? Do you find yourself setting goals for your business that aren’t quite realistically attainable? For instance, sales or production goals. Perhaps nothing is quite good enough, which is why sales are low.
- Do you frequently have unmet goals? When you set a goal, do you find most of them are left unmet? Do you have too many goals, with unrealistic expectations that never seem to be accomplished/completed?
- Do you find yourself frozen when it comes to making a decision? Is decision making something you struggle with due to the potential outcome not living up to your standard no matter which choice you make?
- Do you always have to control everything? Do you have trouble letting go of the reigns in various aspects of your business or are you micromanaging every aspect? Are you the control freak because no-one can do it as perfectly as you?
- When you delegate a task to someone else, do you feel the burning desire to just do it yourself because you feel their results will not live up to your standards? Do they do the task differently to the way you would therefore, it’s wrong? (Even though it probably isn’t.)
- Do you find that you are defensive? When someone points out your incessant need to be perfect, or heaven forbid a fault you may have made, do you react defensively?
- Do you procrastinate? Do you find yourself putting off tasks you believe you can’t devote 100% of your attention to, or feel like you might not deliver a satisfactory result if you do?
If more than one or two of these questions are true for you, it’s probably time to rethink your stance on perfection. If they all ring true, then it’s seriously time to start letting go and focusing more on progress than perfection.
The unfortunate side of allowing perfection controlling you, is that you will never have the level of entrepreneurial success that you want.
So what do you do?
Admit That You Have a Perfectionism Problem
Write down all the ways that your perfectionism is keeping you from reaching your goals. For instance, list out every project/idea/plan that you have not completed and let it stare you in the face.
Then, write down “WHY” you didn’t complete it.
Was it because of fear, overwhelm, or feeling like you couldn’t get it right? This is so hard to do, and incredibly humbling.
Next, finish ONE thing on your list.
Make progress on it, whether it is perfect or not.
Then, rinse and repeat with your next goal, and your next, and your next, etc…
And every time the ugly procrastination demon rears its ugly head at you, refocus and remind yourself that you MUST make progress in order to become successful.